About one in three Iowans will be taking a road trip during the final two weeks of the year, according to a motor club survey. Gail Weinholzer, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says travel is expected to be up slightly compared to last year for the holiday period that starts this Saturday and runs through New Year’s Day. “We are expecting 94.5 million Americans to travel at least 50 miles or more,” Weinholzer says. “That is an increase of just under 1% but it does represent about 30% of all Americans traveling over this holiday season.”

The upward trend marks the fifth consecutive year of increases and the highest travel volume recorded for the year-end holiday season. Weinholzer says about nine-in-ten Iowans who are traveling over Christmas or New Year’s will be on the road, not a runway. “Ninety-one percent of all people are traveling by personal automobile which is a slight increase,” Weinholzer says, “while air travel is about 5.5-million Americans, which is a slight decrease from last year.”

With more people driving, she says it’s a plus that gasoline prices have been dropping since Thanksgiving. “Fuel costs are declining,” Weinholzer says. “Both Iowa and Nebraska are averaging $3.05 which is actually 17-cents below the national average, so not only have prices declined across the nation, but particularly in Iowa and Nebraska, drivers are feeling relief at the pumps.”